My Favourite Blog Hops…

Favourite Blog HopsWhat Are Blog Hops?

When I first started blogging I had no idea what Blog Hops or Linky Parties were. I know that just the words Blog Hop and Linky party sound pretty self explanatory, but they still left me feeling more than a little confused. I suppose that when a person is new to something even the simplest things can seem daunting or confusing or is that just me!

I took my time checking out a few Blog Hops and Linky Parties to see what they are all about and learned that they are a good place to  link up your blog or post – always read what the blogger or bloggers hosting the Blog Hop or Linky Party want you to do to take party – get to ‘meet’ other bloggers and to get your own blog a little publicity – never a bad thing!

In a nut shell Blog Hops and Linky Parties are all about public relations for you and your blog. You basically get out what you put into them. You can link up and do the minimum that is requested from you by the host or you can participate as much as you can by reading, leaving good quality comments and even sharing the posts you read on your social media accounts.

You’ll generate far more readers by doing the latter, so it’s worth spending that little extra time browsing though blog posts. At first I thought I had to link up and check out the blogs in the Blog Hop in one go. I have since learned that it is fine to link up your own blog or blog post and then go back and read other peoples blog posts when you have more time. I tend to read a post or two when I stop and have a coffee or just want to sit down for a minute, but you could do it whilst on your commute to work.

Blog Hops and Linky Parties tend to be open for a few days and some for a whole week,so the is generally plenty of time.

How I Approached Blog Hopping And Linky Parties…

When I first started blogging, which wasn’t that long ago, I was even more clueless than I am now, but I wanted to learn everything I could. It didn’t take me long to realise that baby steps works best for me; if I try to take on and learn too much, too quickly, it only proves to be counter productive as I end up getting into a right kerfuffle {not a word, I know, but I use it as that is how I feel!}.

Bearing that in mind I decided not to rush into taking part in Blog Hops or Linky Parties. I searched Google+ and when I found one I thought sounded good, I clicked through to the post and read what it was all about. If I fancied it I’d give it a go, but at first I only did about one a week….I know! I’m a slow learner!

Not All Blog Hops or Linky Parties Are The Same…

There are all sorts of Blog Hops and Linky Parties out there waiting for you to take part in. Some are theme inspired, like sharing parenting posts or recipes and others are more laid back and allow you to link up to any post you fancy from your blog.

Before entering your link into a Blog Hop Or Linky Party, do read carefully what the ‘rules’ are. I do use that term loosely, but some require you to follow a bunch of hosts and co hosts on all the social media you have, which is fair enough as a lot of work goes into hosting and organizing some of them and at the end of the day they aren’t doing the hard work for the pure fun of it, although I am sure they do enjoy it too. The hosts and co-hosts are also getting traffic to their blogs, which is, I’m sure their incentive for hosting the Blog Hops and Linky Parties in the first place..

Some of the first Blog Hops and Linky Parties I took part in I found too complicated and I ended up following a load of people who I really wasn’t interested in following. I like to follow people on social media that have blogs that I find of interest.

Another fair enough rule is that you either link back, or display the Blog Hop or Linky Party’s badge on your blog or in your post.

It did take me a while before I cottoned on that their is no difference between a Blog Hop and a Linky Party. The difference is only in the name.

My Favourite Blog Hops So Far…

I have tried and tested a few blog hops and have come to the conclusion, that for me the nice and simple ones are the best. I don’t like too many rules as I like to try and follow them and I beat myself up if I can’t or don’t want to.

The following blog hops are ones I have been taking part in regularly on a weekly basis – except for Word Of The Week, which I linked up to for the first time on Sunday.

#1. The WeekEnd Blog Hop.

My Life As A Mummy

This Blog Hop is hosted by Laura and Vicky. It is nice and simple. the rules being that you link up your blog URL and not a specific post and that you read and comment on the first post in each of the two blogs in front of you in the link up….You can then browse and read through the other blog posts. Remember the more you read and comment on, the better it is for you!

The Weekend Blog Hop kicks off on Saturday morning.

#2. The Mommy Reality Challenge.

Jenerally Informed

I love this link up, which is hosted by Jen, Celeste and Carolyn. The three of them came up with the great idea of getting Mums across the blogoshere to share the real side of being a Mum by setting a fun weekly photographic challenge. Which you then post on your blog or in your instagram account and link up via the hosts pages.

For this challenge you don’t have to even write a post, it is perfectly fine to just share the photograph. I think it makes a good excuse for writing a post though! Jen, Celeste and Carolyn then work really hard promoting the link up, driving traffic to your post.

The Mommy Reality Challenge kicks off on Friday.

#3. Brilliant Blog Posts.

Brilliant blog posts on HonestMum.com

This blog hop is hosted by Vicki and I think that this is the busiest blog hop that I take part in. I like it because I can link up any of my favourite posts and all I have to do in return is to browse through, read and comment on at least two other blogs in the link up. I always end up reading more as there are so many good posts to choose from.

Brilliant Blog Posts kicks off on Thursday.

#4. SHINE Blog Hop.

The Deliberate Mom

This blog hop is hosted by Jennifer and is also a nice and simple one. All you have to is link up your favourite post, read and comment on at least two other posts in the link up. Again this blog hop is a busy one, giving you plenty of choice of posts to read.

The Shine Blog Hop kicks off on a Thursday.

#5. Word Of The Week.

The Reading Residence

I only discovered this Blog Hop a couple of weeks ago and have been Umming and Ahhing as to whether I had the time to participate in another Blog Hop, but I really did fancy this one.

Word Of The Week is hosted by Jocelyn and it is also a nice and simple link up. For this link up you choose a word that best sums up your week and you can either write a short description or turn it into a post explaining why you have chosen that word.

I joined in with this blog hop for the first time on Sunday.

Word Of The Week kicks off on Friday.

My Experience So Far Taking Part In The Above Blog Hops…

Each and everyone of the hosts in the above Blog Hops have managed to find the time to check out my post and leave a comment, which I think is great, as all comments are greatly appreciated.

I have definitely seen a rise in traffic since taking part too. Using Google Analytics and the Jetpack Stats plugins I can see where the views are coming from and taking part in the blog hops have helped to increase the amount of visitors to my blog for sure.

When life is busy it is harder to find the time to read and comment on other peoples blogs, but I try not to get obsessive about it as that would take the fun out of it. Some weeks I may only have time to read two or three posts per blog hop and other weeks five or six, so it’s swings and roundabouts.

Would I Recommend Taking Part In Blog Hops or Linky Parties?…

Most definitely yes! Not only is it fun, but I have come across some really interesting blogs and bloggers.

I know that when I first started out I found the whole Blog Hop/ Linky Party thing confusing. So I hope that this post answers any questions you may have had in regards to what they are all about .

Thank you for taking the time to read this post and please feel free to share any Blog Hop/Linky Party stories and experiences. I’m always on the lookout to learn more!

My Life As A Mummy

Copyright © 2014 Debbie Roberts

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Comments

  1. 18

    says

    Debbie, I wish I had come across a post like yours when I first started blogging. I actually Googled the term “link party” because I didn’t know what one was.

    We have similar tastes in parties, so I think I’ll check out the ones you listed that I’ve not been to yet.

    Thank you for linking up at the #SHINEBlogHop this week (that’s how I found you).
    Sarah Nenni Daher recently posted…Thank Goodness It’s Thursday No. 33My Profile

    • 19

      says

      Hi Sarah, I too had to Google what link parties and blog hops were and still didn’t fully understand what they were. Which is what prompted me to write this post.

      There are plenty of link parties out there to choose from, but the ones I listed are all ones I participate in regularly and the hosts all work hard promoting and commenting on posts left in the link ups. I have also ‘met’ some brilliant bloggers by participating.

      Thank you for reading my post and leaving a comment.
      Debbie Roberts recently posted…My Word Of The Week Is…Manic!My Profile

    • 21

      says

      Hi Celeste, to start with just the term Blog Hop, sent my brain a quivering. Now I have found ones I enjoy taking part in, I have come to realise just how much work goes into hosting one properly and wanted to do my bit to say thank you….I will change the #mommyreality badge in the post when I have a minute.

      Thank you for reading and leaving a comment on my post.

  2. 22

    says

    Great post! I am very new at blogging and was only told about linkys last week. To begin with I really did not have a clue, but I think I am getting the hang of it. (I think). I was wondering what are good linkys to join up with and your recommendations have been very helpful!!!
    Thank you!
    x

    • 23

      says

      Hi Laura, I stumbled upon linky parties and blog hops whilst browsing Google+ and was totally baffled at first. I highly recommend taking the time to find a couple you enjoy and participating regularly. I have noticed return visitors to my blog since making an effort to join in blog hopping.

      I am happy that you found my post of help and thank you for taking the time to read and leave a comment.

  3. 24

    says

    “When I first started blogging, which wasn’t that long ago, I was even more clueless than I am now, but I wanted to learn everything I could. ” Hah!! You are too funny and open and honest. Thus why we make such good blogging friends!

    I am so happy you link up with the Mommy Reality Challenge each week and thanks for the shout out and love!
    Jen@JENerallyInformed recently posted…A Mother Always Finds A WayMy Profile

    • 25

      says

      Hi Jen, I’m glad I met you too. It never crossed my mind that I would make friends through blogging, but I have been pleasantly surprised. I have met plenty of really nice people, which has definitely enhanced my enjoyment of blogging.

      I always like to stay true to myself and I hope that comes through in my writing. Life’s too short to try to be be someone we’re not.

      Thank you for all the hard work you put into hosting the challenge, will be checking out this weeks #mommyreality in a bit.
      Debbie Roberts recently posted…Self-Hosting A Blog – What I Have Learned As A New BloggerMy Profile

    • 27

      says

      Hi Lianne, I have been pleasantly surprised at how many genuinely nice bloggers I have met through blog hopping. And as there is always a great variety of blogs linked up to a blog hop, there is always something interesting to read. nI hope you enjoy my Blog Hop recommendations.

      Thank you for taking the time to read and leave a comment on my post.

    • 29

      says

      Hi Steph, thank you. I wanted this post to be helpful and it seems to be coming across that way. I wasn’t actually sure if it was just me not fully understanding what blog hopping was all about to start with, but it appears that it isn’t.

      If we all take a little time to participate in well run Blog Hops then we all get to benefit.

      Thank you for taking the time to comment on my post. I’m guessing your going to have a busy week hosting #BrilliantBlogPosts, don’t forget the coffee!

  4. 33

    says

    Okay so remember how I hadn’t seen anyone post the difference between wordpress.com & .org? Well I have not seen anyone break down what a blog hop was either! I didn’t know what it was when I began blogging, I had to figure it out like a common peasant. This info is so great! AND you listed 2 of my girls’ (Jennifer/Jen) blog hops! Love it love it love it
    Rebecca recently posted…What a Long, Strange Trip It’s BeenMy Profile

    • 34

      says

      Hi Rebecca, I am so glad that my posts seem to be of help to some. I thought I’d have a go at writing posts for people like me to read – if you know what I mean. I too am having to figure things out as I go along, but quite often when I search for help or explanations they go over my head. So I tried to break things down in both of the posts you mentioned.

      Thank you for leaving a great comment!
      Debbie Roberts recently posted…My Favourite Blog Hops…My Profile

  5. 35

    says

    Deb this is GREAT! I was just thinking I should do a post about blog hops but it looks like you covered most of everything!

    Thanks for the shout-out too! It’s a lot of work to comment meaning fully on all the posts that link up, so I’m glad that it’s appreciated.

    Thanks once again and have a lovely day.
    xoxo

    • 37

      says

      Hi Jennifer, all of the blog hops I mentioned I genuinely enjoy, even though I have done #WotW once, I like the way it works. So in a way my post was a thank you to all the hosts. Hosting a blog hop must be soooooo time consuming, which I and many others do appreciate.

      I doff my hat to you when it comes to replying to comments! I doubt I have even a fraction of the comments you get on your blog and I battle to keep up with them. I really do like to reply to each and everyone who takes the time to comment and to take a little time to check out there blog too, but I am worried that the busier my blog gets the harder it’s going to become to respond to people.

      Thank you for stopping by and leaving a comment.
      Debbie Roberts recently posted…My Favourite Blog Hops…My Profile

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